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Hurricanes Maria and Jose

September 21st, 2017

Stephen Lendman

On Tuesday, Maria was elevated to Category 5. Meteorologist Eric Holthaus called it “one of the fastest intensifying hurricanes in history with maximum sustained winds of 160 MPH.”

Jose is minor by comparison, forecast to remain off the US northeast coast. At most “(m)inor to moderate coastal flooding is possible from Delaware to southern New England during the next several days,” according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC), its maximum sustained winds at around 75 MPH.

Maria is hugely dangerous, the strongest ever storm to hit Dominica, devastating the island, Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit saying:

“So far we have lost all what money can buy and replace. My greatest fear for the morning is that we will wake to news of serious physical injury and possible deaths as a result of likely landslides triggered by persistent rains.”

“(W)inds have swept away the roofs of almost every person I have spoken to or otherwise made contact with. The roof to my own official residence was among the first to go and this apparently triggered an avalanche of torn away roofs in the city and the countryside.”

Full story »

Trump Again Threatens Venezuela

September 21st, 2017

Stephen Lendman

On Monday evening in New York, Trump threatened Venezuela at a dinner he hosted for hardline right-wing Latin American officials.

Ones invited included Brazil’s coup d’etat president Michel Temer, Colombian narco-terrorist president Juan Manuel Santos, corporatist Panamanian president Juan Carlos Varela, and fascist Argentine president Mauricio Macri’s vice president Gabriela Michetti, along with their foreign ministers and other officials.

The situation in Venezuela is “totally unacceptable,” Trump roared, adding: “We call for the full restoration of democracy and political freedoms in Venezuela, and we want it to happen very, very soon.”

He threatened unspecified actions he intends, earlier threatening “a possible military option.” He disgracefully accused President Nicolas Maduro of “def(ing) his own people,” calling his leadership “disastrous,” suggesting further hostile US actions coming.

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The Nation I grew Up in No Longer Exists

September 21st, 2017

Stephen Lendman

America was never beautiful, but the way things were during my early years was world’s different from today’s dismal and hugely dangerous state.

Long ago, I felt safe and secure, unlike today, threatened by bipartisan lunatics in Washington, waging endless wars of aggression, deploring peace and stability, maybe willing to risk destroying planet earth to own it.

As a child and youth, I never feared dreaded nuclear war. Today it’s more likely than not against other nuclear powers threatening no one, standing in the way of America achieving unchallenged dominance, wanting all sovereign independent states eliminated, doing whatever it takes to accomplish this madness, wanting planet earth colonized, controlled and exploited.

America has an obscenely powerful military at a time its only enemies are invented ones, no real ones, none since WW II’s end.

The US public is deplorably ignorant and indifferent to the diabolical agenda of the nation’s leadership - the same under both right wings of its duopoly government, hellbent to rule the world, most Americans none the wiser, brainwashed by political and television talking heads.

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Gallup: 71% of Americans are “Dissatisfied with the way the nation is being governed”

September 21st, 2017

Eric Zuesse

A Gallup poll headlined on September 17th, "Seven in 10 Dissatisfied With Way U.S. Is Being Governed”, and reported that 71% said they were “Dissatisfied" and that 28% said they were “Satisfied,” with the U.S. Government. The question, as it had been posed, was “On the whole, would you say you are satisfied or dissatisfied with the way the nation is being governed?”

At the height of Richard Nixon’s Watergate scandal, when this question was asked during 21-24 September 1973, the until-then all-time-lowest level of satisfaction with the Government was recorded, 26% (compared with 28% who are “Satisfied” today); but, at that time, only 66% said they were outright “Dissatisfied”; so, at that time, a larger percentage than now, were on the fence, about this question. (Thus, 71% are “Dissatisfied” today, whereas only 66% were, back in 1973.) Subsequently, the figure of only 26% who were “Satisfied,” wasn’t reached again until the very end of George W. Bush’s Presidency and the peak of the 2008 economic crash, when, yet again, 26% were “Satisfied”; but, in that instance, an until-then all-time-record high 72% declared themselves “Dissatisfied” with their Government. So, that was the all-time-worst finding, up to that moment in time. But, then, things got even worse:

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UN General Assembly’s 72nd Session

September 20th, 2017

Stephen Lendman

UNGA 72 convened on September 12. The General Debate runs from September 19 - 25, featuring addresses by top officials of memer states.

Sergey Lavrov head’s Russia’s delegation. On September 21, he’ll address the GA. He’ll meet with numerous leaders and other officials from attending countries, along with US-appointed General-Secretary Antonio Guterres.

He’ll present Russia’s anti-imperial, anti-war, multi-polarity worldview, supporting “unconditional respect for the sovereignty and the rights of nations to choose their own way,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova explained.

He’ll call for strict “adherence to the principle of supremacy of international law and the UN Charter, as well as the Charter prerogatives of the UN Security Council, which bears primary responsibility for international peace and security,” she stressed.

Full story »

Trump’s UN Reform Declaration

September 20th, 2017

Stephen Lendman

Putin wasn’t invited to Trump’s UN reform meeting, Kremlin aide Yury Ushakov explained, convened ahead of the General Assembly’s 72nd session, an unacceptable snub.

A handful of countries alone got to participate, ones willing to sign Trump’s 10-point plan. Upper house Federation Council Defense and Security Committee First Deputy head Franz Klintsevich called his proposal “a diktat rather than a discussion,” adding:

“I cannot really judge if UN reform is timely at the moment, and whether it may cause bigger disputes among countries. Those are, so to say, issues of a different layer, but anyway this is not the way to address them.”

His draft declaration states “(w)e support the secretary-general in making concrete changes in the United Nations system to better align its work on humanitarian response, development and sustaining peace initiatives.”

“We commit to reducing mandate duplication, redundancy and overlap, including among the main organs of the United Nations.”

He wants America’s funding commitment cut, other countries paying more. As of September 18, 128 nations signed his declaration, most pressured to go along or risk US wrath.

Full story »

US Anti-BDS Legislation

September 20th, 2017

Stephen Lendman

Global BDS activism is vital - the most effective initiative challenging Israeli ruthlessness, essential to preserve and support.

Congressional Israel Anti-Boycott Act legislation wants it criminalized. It aims to “amend the Export Administration Act of 1979 to include in the prohibitions on boycotts against allies of the United States boycotts fostered by international governmental organizations against Israel and to direct the Export-Import Bank of the United States to oppose boycotts against Israel, and for other purposes.”

Its key provisions include:

Congressional opposition to BDS.

Calling UNHCR criticism of Israel support for BDS, notably its March 2016 blacklist of companies operating in Occupied Palestine on stolen land.

Expanding the Export Administration Act (EAA), prohibiting involvement with any foreign government’s boycott of Israel.

Full story »

Deplorable Ignorance and Indifference of Most Americans

September 19th, 2017

Stephen Lendman

Americans are the most over-entertained, uninformed people on the planet - mostly know-nothings about domestic and geopolitical issues mattering most.

A new Gallup poll provides more evidence - 58% of respondents supporting war if peaceful methods with North Korea fail.

Americans are so out-of-touch with reality they have no idea that the Trump administration ruled out dialogue with Pyongyang or why.

They have no understanding of what nuclear war means, endangering the lives and welfare millions of people in North and South Korea, others potentially in Japan and cross-border in China.

They fail to grasp the possibility that war on the DPRK could invite China’s intervention to protect its security, Russia possibly getting involved for the same reason.

Full story »

Internet Freedom Threatened

September 19th, 2017

Stephen Lendman

Digital democracy is the last frontier of free and open expression, the only reliable independent space for real news, information and analysis - enabling anyone to freely express views on any topics.

Government censorship remains an ominous possibility. Last spring, UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s Tory Manifesto called for Britain becoming “the global leader in the regulation of the use of personal data and the Internet.”

She urged government control over what people write, post and share online, the end of UK digital democracy if enacted into law.

Britain’s Investigatory Powers Act requires Internet companies to maintain records on customers’ browsing histories, along with ministerial power to breach online privacy, including encrypted content – on the phony pretext of assuring no “safe space for terrorists to be able to communicate online.”

Her scheme isn’t about “protect(ing) the security of people and ensur(ing) the fairness of the rules by which people and businesses (must) abide.”

It’s a sinister plan to control online content, prohibiting what Tories want suppressed, government acting as gatekeeper.

Full story »

Lavrov/Tillerson Meeting at UN

September 19th, 2017

Stephen Lendman

Both officials had numerous conversations in person and by phone accomplishing nothing.

US relations with Russia remain irreconcilably hostile, more dismal than any time post WW II. The geopolitical aims of both countries are polar opposite.

Russia pursues world peace, stability, multi-world polarity and mutual cooperation among all nations. Washington seeks unchallenged global dominance - aggressive wars and color revolutions its favored strategies. Possible confrontation between these powers is ominously real by accident or US design. The threat of nuclear war between them should terrify everyone.

Full story »

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